My ClimateMy garden is situated in a part of Sydney known as the Cumberland Plain; an area which stretches from Parramatta to Penrith and from Richmond to Liverpool. The Cumberland Plain has higher maximum temperatures during summer, lower minimum temperatures in winter and it is the driest part of Sydney with only around 700-900mm of rain per year. The soil is a heavy clay soil while the rest of Sydney has a sand based soil.
In my little part of the Cumberland Plain we average around 800mm of rain per year, we watch the summer storms go around us, either to the north or south and we think 'we could have done with some of that rain to water the garden'.
In summer the temperature can easily reach 40C and above - our hottest day on record was on January 18th this year when it hit 46.4C. The heat, that day, was oppressive, there was no relief from the heat even in the shade where it should have been a bit cooler.
In winter the temperature can drop as low as -4C, although it is usually it is only drops to -2C; it is normal on those extra cold mornings to have a solid sheet of ice on the windscreen and the birdbaths to have a solid cover of ice on top of the water. The water in hoses can freeze solid making it difficult to hose the ice of the car; I remember one morning last winter when the cold water we were using to thaw the ice on the windscreen froze solid as soon as it landed on the windscreen - I thought geez, we need an ice scrapper.
These extremes don't happen all that often and some years we can have a cooler summer or a warmer winter.
My garden is now old enough that the canopy protects the garden from the extremes of temperatures.
I remember looking at my garden the day after we had the 46.4C and thinking that it was hard to believe that we did have all that heat the day before as the plants were looking perfect - no damage. The canopy and the close planting of plants helps to protect the garden from the frost in winter.